1 In 10 Tech Jobs Leaving U.S.

from the that's-it? dept

e g writes in with a link to a Reuters report talking about a Gartner prediction that one out of every ten tech jobs will move offshore. I’m still not sure that this is a bad thing. Ignoring, first of all, Gartner’s fairly dismal track record in predicting the future (though, there aren’t many who predict the future well), I’m also surprised that they’re saying only 10%. If you listen to those who say it’s the end of the world, you would think that there won’t be a single programmer employed on US soil within six months. I still think the shift to offshore programming will, in the long run, end up opening up new opportunities for those who were displaced in the US. That doesn’t mean it won’t be an uncomfortable situation for some, but it also doesn’t mean the end of the world. Remember, we are talking about skilled workers who should have the ability to use their brains to figure out what else they can do.


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Comments on “1 In 10 Tech Jobs Leaving U.S.”

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45 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Demographic trends

Seems to me that in today’s US, there are two ways to get reasonably secure jobs:

1. Go to community/vocational college to become a skilled worker. (Machine operator, nurse, fireman, truck driver, welder)

2. Get an advanced degree (MS or PhD) for the high-powered jobs.

Four-year college degrees seem to create a dilemma — college graduates are considered too educated for skilled-worker jobs, whereas they are not considered educated enough for high-powered jobs. Historically, college graduates were supposed to fill the ranks of middle management at corporations, but middle managers are an endangered species today.

Brian J. (user link) says:

Only 1 in 10?

That’s not so bad. You just have to be one of the top 90%, theoretically, to remain employed.
In line with the previous poster’s asserion, if you want to ensure you’re employable, you need to get into a job that cannot be done anywhere else. That includes construction, repair, and other location-utility trades.
Or you can start your own business.

e g says:

What no one mentions is that INDIA

has no real internet usage. The INDIAN universities are targetting American jobs. Which is smart i guess. Another point is that we have a minimum wage. We should level the field and make all products coming from overseas taxed to our minimum wage. It’s not going to be possible,but worth mentioning.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Remember the Japan Scare

I actually have mixed feelings about the whole “offshore” movement of tech jobs, but here are a few thoughts:

– How many H1B (?) Visas are issued to overseas workers who would come here anyway – I believe it is over 100K. In other words, are we just employing the same people in their home country instead of here? Perhaps we could lower the H1B limits as more jobs move overseas.

– I still remember the gloom and doom about “Japan Inc.” – how there would be no employed workers in the U.S., the car companies would go out of business, we would all be eating sushi (okay, I do that anyway. mmmmmm….sushi). But the bottom line is that a trend does not necessarially mean the end of the world. Americans have shown an amazing ability to adapt and compete.

– HOWEVER, I do have to say some trends on the whole China manufacturing/Indian software movement has me more concerned since if you don’t have manufacturing and IT, all you are left with is flower shops and gardeners, as mentioned above.

This one is a tough one. Maybe we could create a futures market that would better predict where this is heading ๐Ÿ™‚

e g says:

Re: Re: its great isn't it. We make nothing.

With the free trade status with CHina , alot of GREEDY/EVIL corporates move their businesses and charge that same amount . NIKE as an example. We don’t manufacture anything anymore. Domestic Auto sales keep going down and the only way Domestics can keep up is sell HUGE ugly SUV’s that make us more dependent on Terrorist OIL. And that Telemarketer that called you while you were eating dinner used to do something productive. But those jobs are gone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Saving your job

It’s quite simple, really. If you’re a programmer, move up to management – someone has to be on-hand who can truly understand the code that’s being outsourced elsewhere (India now, or Russia, etc.) Become the company Procurement manager. Tom Peters was writing about this stuff 10 years ago – virtual companies are proliferating.

Acquire people skills & service skills, or sales skills, and you’ll never be out of a job.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: its great isn't it. We make nothing.

With the free trade status with CHina , alot of GREEDY/EVIL corporates move their businesses and charge that same amount . NIKE as an example. We don’t manufacture anything anymore. Domestic Auto sales keep going down and the only way Domestics can keep up is sell HUGE ugly SUV’s that make us more dependent on Terrorist OIL. And that Telemarketer that called you while you were eating dinner used to do something productive. But those jobs are gone.

You can complain all day, but that doesn’t help solve anything. So, if this really is a problem, what should we do?

E G says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Economics is not HARD

Try and buy only quality american products.I will try to stay away from NIKE and other FOREIGN sellers of shoes . Don’t buy foreign if there is an american product at nearly the same price. Thats one way. Try and spread the word to friend and neighbors that you like to buy QUALITY AMERICAN products. It is sad to see we don’t make tv’s anymore.

The real solution will be dealt with by the Democrats(sorry to say if your Republican) . It’s called MANAGED TRADE. Thats where we will use formalus to to figure out how much of a market share certain countries will be allowed to sell in the U.S. It works. Thoughtless free trade can be manipulated by skilled individuals. Look at the Japanese and their Keretzu’s(monopolies,no USA products allowed). We have a super 301 law that put tariffs on their products if they didn’t open up markets. Why the hell do we need any Japanese markets in the first place. Their market is only to sell to the U.S. They can’t buy the same amount that they SELL in this country. We need managed trade with all the Asian nations. They don’t use minimum wages or safetey,or worker rights for employees. Yet we do. So we get screwed because we don’t do child Labor. It all starts with MAKING things in this country again and being INDEPENDENT and not reliant and in DEBT. It will take government action though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Idiot

Once again Mike takes the controversial position in a BLATANT attempt to drum up controversy. How would you feel if YOUR job was outsourced? You would be singing a different tune. So STFU about outsourcing being a good thing and telling people to adjust. YOU adjust a-hole.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Idiot

Once again Mike takes the controversial position in a BLATANT attempt to drum up controversy. How would you feel if YOUR job was outsourced? You would be singing a different tune. So STFU about outsourcing being a good thing and telling people to adjust. YOU adjust a-hole.

Well, ignoring the bad language and the insults (is that really necessary?), I think you’re missing the point. I have faith in my ability to adjust, so I’m not worried about my job being outsourced. So, no, I wouldn’t be singing a differnet tune, I’d be figuring out what to do next, just like I’ve always done.

I’m still confused. The outsourcing is happening. Why are you just complaining about it, rather than figuring out what to do?

I’m not telling people to adjust for fun (or for “controversy”) but because if they don’t adjust, they’ll be out of a job. I’m trying to help. And, all you can do is complain? I don’t get it. Which makes more sense? To try to figure out how to deal with the market, or to sit there and whine?

You know, it’s really terrible we invented the printing press, because it put all those scribes out of work. Times change. People adjust.

e g says:

Re: Re: Re:6 No Subject Given

quickie question. Adjust to WHAT ? Farming ?

How about the printing press manufacturers moving/outsourcing to China ?

How about Auto makers all moving to China/Taiwan/japan/korea while they sell at below cost because of government financing ?

How about Robots taking the jobs of U.S. auto workers and those workers working on making robots but the GREEDY manufacturer moves to CHINA to make Robots ?

You see it’s a downward spiral.

Look at what the Asian nations do. Fiercly Proud , they don’t want Foreign goods of any kind. And they are successful !

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Idiot

Aw, poor Mikey can’t deal with a little well-deserved name calling. Let me tell you something: I’d love to see you go up to a group of unemployed steel workers or auto workers circa 1979 and give THEM your little spiel about the need to ‘adjust.’ They would like ‘adjust’ your worldview in a way you hadn’t anticpiated. I lost my job 18 months ago due to outsourcing, and in that time I’ve realized that the job I used to have is GONE. And I don’t have any f’ing MONEY to get new skills that would help me adjust. So quit being so goddamn SMUG about the whole thing.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Idiot

Well, I think I dealt with the name calling just fine by not lowering myself to the same level, but feel free to keep calling me names. I don’t mind.

And, yes, you’re right. A group of steel workers in 1979 probably would beat the living crap out of me. I don’t see how that changes the point. How many of the steelworkers who lost their job in 1979 are still out of work?

I’ve said this a million times. It absolutely DOES SUCK for those who lost their jobs. I’m not denying that. I know plenty of people who have lost their jobs, and it’s a terrible, stressful thing to go through. However, at that point, you have two choices: sit there and complain and make fun of people or do something about it to make your situation better. You’re telling me you’d rather complain? How does that help you?

I’m sorry you haven’t been able to find a job, but does complaining about it and calling me an asshole make it any better?

I’m still waiting to hear how you expect to fix things. I’m not being smug, I’m trying to help by suggesting that people better prepare for these things, rather than be so angry after they no longer have a job.

e g says:

Re: Re: Re:10 how about rereading my first couple of messages at

Do i need to rewrite everything for you.

Summary. Try and buy 100 % American content versus foreign.

2. We will need Managed Trade policy to help out of this mess and unfair playing field. That can only be done through a Democrat Government presidency and congress ,I am sorry to say if you are a Republican. But thats the only way really. I really do believe in TRADE but not on an unlevel playing field. And i like George Bush. I don’t like his economic policies at all. Jobs are not being produced with his hands off policies like in the days of Clinton.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 how about rereading my first couple of message

Try and buy 100 % American content versus foreign.

But, if it’s cheaper and better to buy foreign, then why should I? Doesn’t that leave me with more money to spend on other things, making my life better?

Also, I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican. Historically, managed trade harms countries that do it. It weakens them competitively, except in some very specific circumstances. Why would I want to weaken my own country?

Chris Hanson (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Idiot

You ask, “How many of the steelworkers who lost their job in 1979 are still out of work?”

That’s the wrong question.

The right question is “How many of the steelworkers who lost their job in 1979 were able to find a new job that allowed them to maintain the same standard of living?”

That’s the real risk: If we are in a downward spiral where all of the non-executive non-frycook jobs shift out of the US, what happens to our economy? We become a de-facto third world nation ourselves. It may even out the quality of life everywhere in the world, but it may do so at our expense. I think that’s something that needs to be considered a lot more carefully rather than just accepted as the vagaries of the market.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Idiot

Ok, so did that happen? If what everyone is saying is true, how come the US economy didn’t collapse in 1979?

There was no downward spiral. Why will there be one this time?

Historically, the US has adjusted to jobs going offshore by creating more better jobs, and improving the economy. Yes, it sucks for people who get caught in the turbulence, but I don’t understand why people belive this time will be different.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Idiot

>Ok, so did that happen? If what everyone is saying is true, how come the US economy didn’t collapse in 1979?
>There was no downward spiral. Why will there be one this time?

As a matter of fact, we do have the Rust Belt in this country, which has never recovered its 50s/60s level of prosperity. It remains a miserable region where most people work menial jobs. A handful of people did move into higher-ranking jobs, and often moved out of the region, but most people in the Rust Belt continue to lead dreary lives.

The current wave of outsourcing could create more Rust Belts in Silicon Valley and other places, full of ex-engineers who drive trucks or whatever.

e g says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Economics is not HARD

your comment ” our companies work on something that they are better at “

You mean like IT and AUTOS ? Now those jobs are being shifted.

let me ask you this . If there is dwindling manufacturing and jobs , how will your company even EXIST.

You can’t compete with slave labor prices and Foreign government subsidies while our country is policing the world exhuasting dollars.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Economics is not HARD

Our economy is constantly changing. We’ve shown an amazing ability to reinvent ourselves, and now you’re saying you have so little faith in the minds of American business that we’re all simply going to do nothing? If you really believe that, then good for you. I’m going to side with the folks who are actually trying to build new businesses and actually doing something for the economy.

e g says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Constantly invent and then moved to CHINA

or India. You speak as though American businesses have this great pride in hiring Americans . Reality Check. It’s all about profit margins and getting shareholders to love you and that means laying off workers.

You talk in We as in US as in U.S.A. but businesses don’t care about any of that. They will move to increase those margins.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Constantly invent and then moved to CHINA

No, I don’t think American businesses have a great pride in hiring Americans. I never said that. I never implied that.

I was just saying that, historically, every time business moves offshore, American labor adjusts, and America seems to be better off for it.

You’re telling me that, this time, they won’t adjust?

Ok. Let’s say I take your word for it. How do we solve that without making things worse off? If you say we go with a protectionist plan, then we’re clearly worse off, because we can no longer be competitive.

e g says:

Re: Re: Re:8 How about all of AUTO industry disappeared

How would you as farmer deal with massive unemployment and a huge hit to GDP ?

Guess you just start inventing and make those new fangled Levitating cars out of Blade runner. Huh?

LOL.

There are alot of industries that will be around a long time. And they produce the highest incomes.

Every time you buy foreign(especially from an Asian country) you lose WEALTH and JOBS. Try and argue that too.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 How about all of AUTO industry disappeared

How would you as farmer deal with massive unemployment and a huge hit to GDP ? Guess you just start inventing and make those new fangled Levitating cars out of Blade runner. Huh?

Are you saying that all the farmers in the US never learned to adjust to a more urban economy? Remember, the US was, at one point, mostly an agriculural economy. However, that shifted, and people adjusted.

History says that people adjust, why do you think it won’t happen this time?

Every time you buy foreign(especially from an Asian country) you lose WEALTH and JOBS. Try and argue that too

You’re assuming a zero sum world, which this isn’t. You may declare “economics is not hard”, but you seem to have missed a couple classes.

You’re basically saying that no Americans should own any consumer electronics, because they’re all made in Asian countries. This makes us better off how?

E g says:

Re: Re: Re:10 what

No,no , no.

I said if the Auto industry were to disappear and it looks like its headed that way under Republican government then how would it affect your job.

Are you saying you would be hunk dory if that whole MANUFACTURING industry disappeared?

Are you saying that losing the electronics industry was good ? You don’t think it would be beneficial if say a majority was made in this country. It was all invented here.

Where did you learn ECONOMICS ? Haha. From school ??? lol…..

I learned mine from CHINA ! lol. They are growing and really don’t care for Japanese products like this country does.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Remember the Japan Scare

Excellent comments!

In the end, there are two things to remember:

(1) For everyone who is complaining about how terrible this is, no one has come up with a “solution” on how to stop it that doesn’t cause many, many more problems than it solves.

(2) Whether or not you like this happening, it is going to happen. In that situation, you’re much better off figuring out how to adapt to those conditions, than complaining about the inevitable.

I agree that this is overhyped from a few people who have been (or will be) effected. Yes, it’s going to be bad news for many people, but there are plenty of opportunities that will come out of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Trolling

A bit interesting discussion, but I have to admit that Mr. Troll really doesn’t offer any real soltution (Buy American? Like Chysler?) has no grasp of current economics (Chrysler’s profits go back to the Fatherland, foreign content in all U.S. cars – Ford and GM included – contain a HUGE percentage of foreign produced parts, etc.) and results to name calling and political posturing that don’t match facts (Democrat Clinton signed NAFTA, Republican Bush enacted Steel Tarrifs THIS YEAR, so this Mr. Troll should be happy with Republicans, not Democrats). The list goes on.

I think what the analysis should focus on what America is actually resorting to – Intellectual Property and Creativity. Computer chips may all be made overseas, but where are they designed? What operating system is the world standard (if you say Linux is gaining on MS, where did this upstart originate? India?). Do you think India is going to create the next number 1 computer game, or do you think they might just do the coding on instructions, with the creativity, characters ,and other items being generated by clever folks stateside?

Yes, manufacturing is going to China and software programming is going to India, but they are simply manufacturing designs created here.

There is an issue of what to do with the people who are not able to adapt, are poorly educated, or don’t have skills that translate to the new economy. I have to do some thinking on how to help these people.

e g says:

Re: Re: my model for economics

is China ! Surprise Surprise. You psuedo economists think the Chinese sit there and buy alot of American products and thats whats creating wealth in that country ?

LOL..

I will let the Republicans on this board like Mike and Anonymous loser to hold the flag of surrender and just with all jobs to go away .

cw says:

No Subject Given

e g, your “arguments” are too weak and laughable to even bother responding to.

It’s interesting to me how few people are able to examine the positive secondary consequences of cost cutting through outsourcing, automation, or lay offs.

If $X is saved through outsourcing 1,000 positions to India, the immediate impact that people notice is that there are 1,000 fewer jobs in the U.S. However, few people pay attention to how the money saved can be used. There are a number of possibities:

1. Pass the savings on to customers. Upon spending less money, they will spend or invest the money that they saved elsewhere, promoting new development.
2. Expand the product line or the production of existing products. Doing the latter can cut prices.
3. Use the money saved to create new research and development jobs (which is precisely what Microsoft is doing — they’ve announced the creation of 5,000 R&D jobs only weeks after announcing the outsourcing of thousands of low-end jobs to India).
4. Raise the salaries for CEO’s — the only really negative option, although that can spur development in tourism and luxury items, I suppose ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep in mind that the opposite of globalization is self-sufficiency, which equates to poverty, as we saw in the Middle Ages when there were political barriers restricting trade between neighboring cities. I doubt people would wish to return to that, but they’re support for protectionism on the national level follows the same principle. I don’t think there is any value in being “independent” if it means a lower standard of living due to high costs and restricted productivity.

Further, higher wages aren’t necessarily positive if they are offset by a higher cost of living, which we would have under a protectionist establishment. Also, lower wages are not as bad if prices are lower.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

I don’t think there is any value in being “independent” if it means a lower standard of living due to high costs and restricted productivity.

So we should all try and start our own businesses that cannot compete with the jobs that are being “outsourced” sold out from underneath us.

I must have missed the class in economics that showed you how to start a business with no money “after all you need money to make money.”

I know that companies don’t owe their workers anything; never have never will, but as long as they are making money its okay to look the other way. Even though you say

. Pass the savings on to customers. Upon spending less money, they will spend or invest the money that they saved elsewhere, promoting new development.

thats a joke when have you ever seen the price of anything go down as a result of outsourcing.

You speak in facts that have forked tongues evidently your not as smart as you think you are my friend for you have not solved the problem either. If you deny that there is a problem, your sadly mistaken i guess you have started to believe your own lies.

When you jump of the wagon that your on and land in a pile of reality. Tell me how you plan to fix it.

Beck says:

Customers

As each company outsources their manufacturing jobs and their programming jobs, the company is better off because they have lowered their costs. But if all of the other companies do the same thing then each company has fewer customers who can buy their product, because their customers are the employees who have been outsourced at the other companies. Each individual company is better off, but what happens to the economy as a whole? Eventually everyone ends up in jobs that have to be done in person, such as driving a truck or cutting lawns or pulling orders in a warehouse or tending sick patients if you can afford the malpractice insurance. (I think the lawyers are the only ones who will have any money in the end.) The money in the economy eventually flows to the countries that are doing the manufacturing and the mining of raw materials.

A. McDonnell says:

US creating jobs

If manufacturing jobs are outsourced, what kind of jobs are offered here? Service jobs that pay minimum wage, that can’t keep a family and the competition are illegal immigrants. If they can get a job/landscaper, auto mechanic, carpenter, they don’t want to work in the fields either. I agree with the person who asks who is going to fix my TV, auto etc. Leave No Child Left Behind seems to assume all are college bound?

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